Green Island Ficus

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Green Island Ficus

Post  Cullen Wegman on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:04 am

This is one of two pre-bonsai Ficus I purchased last weekend on a trip out to Bill Valavanis' arboretum. Now that it has been pruned, wired and potted, I will begin working on the ramification and healing the large pruning scars. In a future re-pot I will increase the angle of the slant. Please feel free to comment and make suggestions.

Before work:


After work:

Cullen Wegman
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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:20 am

Hi Cullen.

The first branch doesn't look too good. Your idea of slanting the tree would change the image. lean it down further to the left side. If it still doesn't work, IMHO that branch should be removed.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:41 am

In addition to Jun's comment, I'd do something about the wrap around aerial roots. You might be able to unwrap them and make them more vertical to enhance the tree's taper. Is the tree leaning away from the camera? If so now would be a good time to fix that too.

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Cullen Wegman on Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:58 am

Jun,

I was indeed planning to increase the lean toward the left. We will see what the branch looks like when I re-pot in a years time. Now that you pointed it out I see that it doesn't work well at the moment . It seems a very large branch to remove all together and would take many years to replace. What are your thoughts on cutting it way back and allowing some new shoot to grow to increase taper and movement?

Rob,

The roots may have to wait for a re-pot as well before any unwinding can take place. I'm afraid they would disturb the roots around them too much and they would be very difficult to rebury. The tree has a gentle lean away for about two inches or so in the upper half. I was planning to cover that area with foliage. Do you think that will suffice? If not, what are your suggestions for fixing it? Also, I still have much to go in the way of developing aesthetic, could you help me to understand why the lean is "bad"?

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:51 am

If you are not in a hurry, and it seems you are not because you planned to post the tree again after some more years, If it were mine I would definitely cut it back.

The other branches are still to young the first branch can quickly catch up. just graft new one.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:58 am

jun wrote:If you are not in a hurry, and it seems you are not because you planned to post the tree again after some more years, If it were mine I would definitely cut it back.

The other branches are still to young the first branch can quickly catch up. just graft new one.

regards,
jun Smile

This fellow is in upstate New York, a fairly cold part of the US, his tree is not going to respond the same way it would in the Philippines or even Florida. Growth for him is a much longer time frame.

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  coh on Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:36 pm

No advice to offer, as I haven't worked with ficus (yet). Looking forward to seeing the evolution.

I was at Bills recently and was also looking at his Green Island Figs. I'd like to add one tropical to my small indoor collection (currently consisting of a brush cherry and a jaboticaba). Anyone have any suggestions? I have a small fluorescent set-up which provided enough light for those 2 plants to grow well through last winter.

Chris

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Cullen Wegman on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:27 pm

Billy,

The slower growth up here in New York does not bother me. Bonsai is a patient art after all. I'm considering what a complete removal of the branch would look like though.

coh,

If you are looking for indoor trees I know Bill has a lot of Shohin sized Pomegranites right now. If you want something larger you may also look at his Brazilian rain trees. Now is the time to go though! He has a lot of stock left but by the end of August it will be slim pickings if anything is even left.

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Guest on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:29 am

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:
jun wrote:If you are not in a hurry, and it seems you are not because you planned to post the tree again after some more years, If it were mine I would definitely cut it back.

The other branches are still to young the first branch can quickly catch up. just graft new one.

regards,
jun Smile

This fellow is in upstate New York, a fairly cold part of the US, his tree is not going to respond the same way it would in the Philippines or even Florida. Growth for him is a much longer time frame.


Hi Billy,

Yup!... but no matter where you are in the planet, if the tree is ugly and/or a branch makes the tree ugly slow growth rate is not an excuse to rectify the defect. And IMHO at this stage where the tree is still very young, design rectification should be done.
even the back branch of this ficus would become a problem branch in the future.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:53 am

I agree with you 100% Jun. Cullen, you may not have much summer, but it's happening right NOW! Make the most of it.

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Green island ficus

Post  moyogijohn on Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:24 am

Ihave read all post...In my opion that big right branch will not work on your tree,,i would cut a close stub or remove it..like Rob k. said tilt the tree up right now..in time you can get another branch to replace it..it is a nice tree make the best of it... feed it to gain more devolpment this whole summer good luck post the other tree take care john

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Cullen Wegman on Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:14 am

Thank you all for taking the time to look at the tree and give me feedback. It is much appreciated and I will consider your wise words carefully. As all the major work has taken place within the last week and a half, including its first potting, how long should I wait before cutting the suggested branches and tampering with the roots which will most likely require me to remove the tree from the pot? I tend to prefer to give my trees a six month or so break between major work.

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:38 pm

That was th point of my post - NOW! If it's only been a week and a half since the lasy work you should be fine, but get on it while you still have some warm summer left. While you're at it, move it to the other side of the pot. If the movement is to the left it should be planted to the right of center for balance. Ditch the rock too, you don't need that.

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:17 pm

On the aerial root Rob mentioned you could cut it at the point where it enters the soil, unwrap it, and run it straight down the trunk if you want to, or remove it altogether.
If you run it down the trunk a few pieces of cotton string will keep it tight to the trunk and in contact with the soil, it will continue to grow. Personally I would remove the large branch and the aerial root.
Some trees (Ficus mostly) look better with aerial roots. Some Ficus are more likely to found growing in the ground in their native habitat, while others called "Strangler Figs" as a group tend to be planted in tree tops by bird droppings and then grow roots to the ground, envelope the tree and eventually kill it. These "Strangler Figs" really rely upon aerial roots the others don't need them. I don't think the tree in this post is a strangler, take a look at Natal Fig to see a great example of a strangler.
The pros and cons of aerial roots.
Pro
They look cool.
Thick aerial roots can make a trunk look thicker if they are close to it.

Con
Aerial roots feed areas higher up the tree and will result in reverse taper over time. One reason that first branch is so thick compared to everything else is that it has that aerial root feeding it.

Jun

I didn't mean to be critical and you are correct about the time to do work, I wanted to suggest that the grower in Upstate New York can't expect the growth you get in the Philippines or even I get on the Space Coast Florida. I suspect the tree in question spent most of its life in Vero Beach, Florida, which is 100 miles south of me and a different USDA Zone.



Last edited by Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added insights.)

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Guest on Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:12 pm

Hi Billy.
It's Ok to be critical. I won't mind. Anyway it's for Cullen's benefit not to any one else. I understand your point in the growth rate, and it is wise to bring it up specially if others who has a similar issue is not aware of the matter.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Cullen Wegman on Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:33 pm

I will get on all the work as soon as a have a spare moment. We still have a couple good months of hot weather left before fall. The tree did come from florida originally. Every spring in May, Bill makes a trip down there to select and pack every tropical tree for shipping to his nursery. Thanks again for the suggestions. It is very helpful for learning as the only teachers I have are my books (many books) and my own experience.

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Re: Green Island Ficus

Post  Cullen Wegman on Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:46 pm

Finally had some spare time this morning to work on my trees. I've unwrapped the aerial roots, cut back both the large first branch and rear branch to short nubs, increased the planting angle and moved the tree as far to the right as I can at this time. I'm hoping I get some new shoots quickly as the tree is now looking very 2 dimensional.






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green island ficus

Post  moyogijohn on Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:34 pm

Much Much Better imho! try to strighten the tree up right..good job take care john

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